Blogging for Real Education Reform: Empower Students

(see the overview of the National Day of Blogging — which is today! The overview: November 22, 2010 has been declared a Day of National Blogging for Real Education Reform, promoted by AASA andASCD. ASCD has gathered 10 articles, in advance of Monday’s Day of National Blogging, in The New Faces of Ed Reformthat discuss reforming education with teachers as leaders and partners in meaningful, lasting change.)

I’ll keep this short and simple: We need to let students become more of the leaders in our classroom when it comes to exploration of learning. I know this sounds counter to the push for accountability, and I don’t mean to suggest that we teachers stop teaching.

We teachers must still provide the framework of activities, the tools of assessment that help with reflective practice, the mini-lessons that guide students at a more individualized pace and the rationale for a project that has meaning, and then, we need to allow our students the space for creativity, collaboration and self-inspired learning. Our perception of the teacher in front of a room of rows of students, writing down notes of what we say, must begin to become transformed into us, the educators, listening more to our students. Let their voices ring out.

If we are all in agreement that we are preparing our students for the world, then we need more creativity in what we are doing and not less. But this also means that all of us teachers have to raise our game, too, and not let our standards of how we teach to fall. We need to get better at what we do. We need to do more integration of new ideas into our curriculum. We need to find more ways to engage our students in their learning. We need parent support, and we need administrative support, and we need society support.

Peace (in the ideas),